“It’s never really caused us a civil disturbance problem,” Sparks police Lt. Chad Hawkins said Wednesday.
The Reno Gazette-Journal reported on its website Wednesday that the Reno Police Department has reduced its presence downtown while the casinos are providing more security as the ban on outdoor alcohol sales is being lifted for the first time in many years. The ban came about after rioting during the HAN event in 1998.
The trouble didn’t deter such sales during the special event in Sparks, Hawkins said. Alcohol consumption is allowed in the closed-off area along Victorian Avenue from Pyramid Way to 15th Street – and it has been for as long as Hawkins can remember.
City of Sparks spokesman Adam Mayberry said there are a few rules: Alcohol must be purchased at the event, people cannot bring their own, and no hard liquor or glass containers are allowed.
Hawkins said the police department will have about 40 officers on duty in the special event area today and about 50 starting at 6 p.m. Friday and at 5 p.m. Saturday. He added that security from John Ascuaga’s Nugget has been extra diligent monitoring the vendor area during the day and after the event ends at 10 p.m.
Whereas Hot August Nights attendees have been good about holding their liquor, Hawkins said dogs tend to be a problem. Because of the heat and the food sales along Victorian, people are not allowed to bring dogs to the event, he said.